Ipswich: Caribbean Club’s search for premises goes on

A COMMUNITY group is today appealing for the help of town residents after their meeting place was knocked down.

Councillor Albert Grant, who founded the Ipswich Caribbean Association (ICA) in 1975, told The Ipswich Star he has been left heartbroken after the council made the controversial decision to tear down the group’s home in Woodbridge Road.

The building had been home to the ICA since 1980 but now the community has been forced to search for new premises after a planning application to turn the site into a car park was granted.

The venue, which hit the headlines in December 2009 following a shooting during a music event, was forced to close in 2010 after the council withdrew financial support.

Mr Grant had hoped to secure funding to re-open the building, but today he admitted the future was bleak, with the club having nowhere to meet.

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“We have got nowhere to go now,” he said. “We go to St Margaret’s Church Hall for three or four hours a week, but that isn’t enough.

“This has hit the community really hard and we have been in talks with the head of the council but our search for somewhere new isn’t going very well.

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“The community is going to suffer because of this. The building which has been torn down was there for everyone, any race and age was always welcomed there. When I go past there now and see it has gone I feel completely heartbroken.”

Mr Grant said he hoped members of the public might be able to help with his search for a new meeting place. The premises must have a kitchen and must be able to sit around 30 to 40 people.

The revelations come more than two years after a brawl at the club which left five people injured – one of whom had suffered a gunshot wound.

n If you can offer some help or support to the ICA, e-mail Albert Grant at albert.grant@councillors.ipswich.gov.uk

n What do you think about this issue? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or you can send an e-mail to starletters@archant.co.uk

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